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Ross Clark

Sickness in the health service

A former editor of this magazine, Nigel Lawson, once described the NHS as ‘the closest thing the English have to a religion, with those who practise in it regarding themselves as a priesthood’. He meant to imply that blind faith tends to take over from observation. But there are other likenesses: bickering cardinals, grandiose PFI

Cameron’s wrong course

Never has a government been better at exasperating its own supporters; rarely has a government been so politically inept. The Tories have formidable advantages. Even in the miseries of an economic crisis, they are only seven points behind in the polls and are almost holding on to their general election percentage. If Margaret Thatcher had

‘Murdoch betrays everyone in the end’

My guard goes up when people in power say that they believe in investigative journalism. Everybody says they do, of course. Then everyone says they have a sense of humour, most especially when they don’t. Just as I doubt the merriment of someone who needs to announce, ‘I enjoy a joke as much as the

Lord Bramall’s last stand

Retreat to your bunkers. Repeat: this is not a drill. Field Marshal Lord Bramall, former chief of the defence staff and veteran of the Normandy landings, has delivered a parting shot. Last week, as he stood from the House of Lords, he opened fire from the crossbenches, blasting the government’s plans to replace Trident and

Atheists vs Dawkins

Sometimes a perfectly good argument can be stretched too far. I heard the resulting snapping noise last week in Cambridge during a debate with Richard Dawkins. We were meant to be on the same side at the Union. But over some months the motion hardened and eventually became ‘This House believes religion should have no


Dubai Notebook | 7 February 2013

François Hollande rolled into town for the World Future Energy Summit here recently, but hardly anyone noticed. There is little enthusiasm for his thoughts on clean energy deployment. In any case, in Dubai we prefer D-list celebs to A-list politicians. Just over a year ago, Kim Kardashian brought Dubai to a virtual standstill for two days when she opened a shop